When Cassia Hall -- aspiring writer whom I had helped with development editing -- suggested that I write a marketing book for indie fiction authors, I knew how much work it would take. Besides, my mind was overflowing with the information I had gained from different courses and books I had read exploring this topic.
What is there to talk about? Everything is already written.
I have so much to write as a fiction writer… Do I even have the time to write non-fiction?
No wonder my first draft of that book was a ‘hot mess’.
It’s not like I didn’t want to share the knowledge, but the format of a non-fiction door-stopper book was unappealing. Moreover, I doubted my ability to write it in an engaging way.
I tried very hard to find a more appealing way to share my knowledge, or at least prioritize the topics -- going to the lengths of creating a survey and directly asking what the writers themselves would want to read in a book about marketing, and asking them to leave their emails.
It worked. I found the topics that were most interesting to my readers.
One of them was “How to market your series?”.
Great. Now I have the topic.
I was so excited, but…
How could I possibly make the writer read a door-stopper about “How to market your series?”?
Well, I couldn’t. Even if it’s something my target audience was interested in, they won’t grab it and read it just because there’s a book about it.
Who am I to teach them about their series? Do I have my own series written?
At the time of writing this article, I had not finished my series, but I had already come up with a marketing strategy. I will expand upon this in a sequence of articles to come - short bits of information, each of them self-contained.
I would start from a generalized idea and each following article would answer one marketing question. This would be easier for me - not having to spend a year or two to write a door-stopper, and when the door-stopper is finally ready, there would be some readers ready to post their reviews on Amazon -- win-win scenario.
This was probably the generalized idea described in practical usage.
To market your series, you need to find the mini-offer or Minimal Valuable Product (MVP) that would cost you about a week or two to produce.
Cue drum roll…
Start with Flash Fiction or a Short Story.
What I’m talking there is what you shall pick one event of your series and make it sufficient short story. By sufficient I mean:
The story must have a beginning, middle and end, and there must be conflict within it.
The protagonist or main character must be well-developed and appealing.
The dialogue must be engaging.
It should be able to act as a stand-alone.
For reference, go check out my short story - Red String. It came to me as Flash Fiction and had since evolved into a sequence of Flash Fiction stories.
I could combine those sequences in a collection and offer that for sale on Amazon.
After that, I could write a novella (or novel) adding details about character interaction with other, thus showing my readers other sides of their likable characters.
After that I could write another novella and start my series, because I had checked my topic and have the readers who would want to follow my characters. At the same time to find new readers I would use only Flash Fiction. This is why to increase my chances I would need to have more Flash Fiction or Short Stories -- different view of my characters -- each of these stories should be self-contained.
There’s a lot of talk about using Short Stories as giveaways in exchange for the readers’ emails. This is not the best approach - as the person downloading your e-book may end up not reading your book.
This is why you need to make your Flash Fiction or Short Story the best it can possibly be. You need to hook your readers from the first lines, and leave them breathless at the last, leaving them craving for more.
This is where you need to put your Email Subscribe Button and start to collect your Fan Database.
If you are interested in learning more about Book Marketing from me, you can subscribe to my non-fiction newsletter.
I will be sending emails with links with my newest book marketing and developmental editing content to my subscribers, until I come with my door-stopper book.